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PowderHound

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Good evening, all--

I had a good friend (one of my classmates) confide in me that they are strongly considering not doing residency. They feel like they sort of went to medical school without really knowing what it would be like, and they are pretty sure medicine is not the right path for them. But, debt is insurmountable at this point, so it makes no sense to drop out now (we are MS3s) so they plan to finish the MD program but they don't really want to do a residency because they don't think they actually want to practice medicine. Any thoughts on what a person could do with an MD other than be a doctor?

Feel free to post links to other threads...I know this topic has been covered on SDN before, but my searching did not return anything of substance.

Thanks, everyone
 

OncoCaP

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...But, debt is insurmountable at this point, so it makes no sense to drop out now (we are MS3s) so they plan to finish the MD program but they don't really want to do a residency because they don't think they actually want to practice medicine. Any thoughts on what a person could do with an MD other than be a doctor?

...

Yes, there are threads, and I'm sure people will tell you what they are.

I've seen this at least once on a thread and here are my thoughts: 3rd year is rough. Lot's of people want to quit. This is normal. It's also normal to make it through to practice medicine even after you were sure you didn't want to. So, don't assume that your friend won't want to do the residency. Keep options open until a viable/attractive alternative develops. People will say all kinds of things when they are getting the tar beaten out of them, and then the beatings intensify. This too shall pass.

Here is my thought (as a Ph.D. in engineering who already had a happy 15 yr career and is changing direction and entering med school this year): Just don't do the residency. Find a job at a drug company (research?); teach school; go find what you want to do. It obviously depends on the skills and interests of the person in question. There are no "obvious" high-paying career options for someone with an MD who isn't working as a physician. For example, healthcare related sales might be an option for someone who has an interest and aptitude for that. MD after your name has a subjective value that depends on many factors (such as whether you are teaching anatomy at a medical school or working in an unrelated field as an accountant).

Oh, and the debt is not insurmountable. Yes, it's a lot of money and you might be paying it back for a long time and have some problems, but it can be overcome. There are options such as income contingent repayment schedules. Just make sure you work with your lender early and often and make every payment that you are able to make.

Hope it works out for your friend. Keep us posted.
 

TheMightyAngus

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Your friend should at least finish an intern year to be licensed. This way the past 4 years and $200k wasn't just an expensive journey in self discovery. Being an unlicensed MD is worse than not having an MD at all.
 
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